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Studies
in Buddhadharma


On Wisdom


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"All of these practices were taught
By the Mighty One for the sake of wisdom.
Therefore those who wish to pacify suffering
Should generate this wisdom."
Śântideva : A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, IX:1.


"Prajñâ", "wisdom", a central notion of the Mahâyâna, refers to a mind directly apprehending the ultimate nature of phenomena, namely their emptiness. Wisdom is cognitive but non-conceptual and so, as intuitive knowledge, cannot be conveyed by concepts or intellectual terms.

The realization of wisdom-mind is equated with awakening. Wisdom is the highest mark of Buddhahood as well as the highest perfection actualized by a Bodhisattva.

A Buddha's wisdom-mind apprehends the emptiness of all phenomena. Relative to the aggregates, five aspects of wisdom-mind are identified. These aspects of enlightened consciousness are the five transcendent ("Dharmakâya"), meditational ("dhyâni") Buddhas distinguished for the purpose of meditation. They represent the transcendent facets of the single Buddha principle shared by all Buddhas.

The Five Wisdoms in Western Navayâna
mind "vijñâna"
consciousness
Absolute
Wisdom
Vairochana
Space
"samjñâ"
cognition
Mirrorlike
Wisdom
Akśobhya
Air - Vajra
"vedanâ"
feeling
Wisdom of
 Discrimination
Amitabha
Water - Padma
"samskâra"
will
All-accomplishing
Wisdom
Amoghasiddhi
Fire - Visvajra
body "rûpa"
body, sensation
Wisdom of
Equanimity
Ratnasambhava
Earth - Ratna

Each Meditational Buddha symbolizes a particular aspect of the transcendent wisdom-mind of a Buddha.

Because wisdom-mind is realized by ending false ideation and so stopping substantial instantiation, wisdom is foremost an epistemological factor. Prepared by renunciation & compassion, it does only depend on a reconstruction of the mind, enabling it to function without attributing own-power or inherent existence to its mental & sensate objects. To realize this wisdom, emptiness must be directly experienced. This is preceded by emptiness-meditations accommodated by ultimate analysis.


 
 

© Wim van den Dungen, Antwerp - 2017
philo@sofiatopia.org l Acknowledgments l SiteMap l Bibliography

Mistakes are due to my own ignorance and not to the Buddhadharma.
May all who encounter the Dharma accumulate compassion & wisdom.
May sentient beings recognize their Buddha-nature and find true peace.

 

initiated : 29 XI 2008 - last update : 12 I 2012 - version n°1